Dienstag, 28. Juni 2011

Atlantic Spotted dolphins!!

The first Atlantic spotted dolphins of this season have arrived!! The sea conditions on our whale watch trip of this morning were not the most favourable. Strong winds causing swell and white caps prevented us from being able to spot whales. Nevertheless it turned out to be a great trip, with the sighting of a Mola mola (sunfish), a Loggerhead turtle and our first seasonal sighting of the acrobatic and social Atlantic spotted dolphin.

The Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) is a dolphin found in the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic Ocean. Older members of the species have a very distinctive spotted coloration all over their body. The coloring of the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin varies enormously as they grow. Calves are a fairly uniform grey colour. When the calves are weaned, they then begin to get their spots. Juveniles have some dark spots on their belly, and white spots of their flanks. Their back and dorsal fin are a darker grey than the rest of the body. As the animal matures the spots became denser and spread until the body appears black with white spots at full maturation.
The Atlantic Spotted is a gregarious creature. It is a fast swimmer, keen bow-rider and prone to acrobatic aerial displays.

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